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Fundamental Science Practices (FSP)

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USGS Fundamental Science Practices

The USGS provides unbiased, objective, and impartial scientific information upon which our audiences, including resource managers, planners, and other entities, rely.

Since the inception of USGS in 1879, the agency has maintained comprehensive internal and external policies and procedures for ensuring the quality and integrity of its science. This has led to the reputation of USGS being noted for science excellence and objectivity. In 2006, the scientific policies and procedures were updated, and are now known as USGS Fundamental Science Practices (FSP), a set of consistent practices, philosophical premises, and operational principles to serve as the foundation for research and monitoring activities related to USGS science.

The FSP clarifies how USGS science is carried out and how the resulting information products (including maps, imagery, and publications) are developed, reviewed, approved, and released.

This site provides FSP and other related resource information of interest to the public. An FSP Advisory Committee (FSPAC) is in place to address FSP related questions and concerns. To contact the FSPAC, send an e-mail to

For USGS Scientists and Other Employees: Detailed guidance to ensure compliance with FSP requirements is available for internal use only on the USGS FSP intranet site at

Note: Some documents at this website are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). To view PDF documents, download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Page Last Modified: Monday, January 28, 2013